Open skies with Jamaica to be renegotiated

The transition of services from Air Jamaica to Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) has encountered a glitch in that CAL lacks permission to serve the US and the rights apparently do not transfer once the CAL acquires Air Jamaica.

The Jamaican government has dispatched a team to Washington to renegotiate the Jamaica-US open skies agreement in the wake of a decision by the US Department of Transportation that denied a request by Air Jamaica, the government-owned airline, to be acquired by Trinidad-based Caribbean Airline Ltd, according to the Jamaica Observer. Also involved is the government of Trinidad.

The team wants to get Caribbean Airlines' rights to operate Air Jamaica’s routes into the US. It also wants Air Jamaica to have the right to continue to operate under its current authority through the six-month-to-year-long transition period under the Transitional Services Agreement with Caribbean.

Should they not receive permission from the US, officials want a temporary and immediate waiver to the ownership rules needed to retain US-Jamaica services for the airline. Caribbean needs similar permission to serve Canada.

The newspaper reported the Jamaican officials were optimistic the airline would ultimately gain the right to serve the US.

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